Archive for August, 2012

Classic Zucchini Bread

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a good weekend and that you’re rested and ready to take on the week.

My weekend was relaxing and mellow – exactly what I needed. In addition to a couple good naps, I made it out to my favorite bakery in Seattle (I’ve mentioned this place before).

I also saw The Bourne Legacy. I think I would give it about a B-. It was interesting and enjoyable, but definitely lacked a certain something that the old ones had….and yes a big part of that something starts with Matt and ends with Damon. But it still just kind of felt like they were copying the old ones. Oh well.

On Sunday I was ready to bake and in the mood for something simple and comforting. I decided zucchini bread would be perfect for this time of year. Zucchini is a summer squash, but the cinnamon and nutmeg in the recipe bring a hint of autumn.

I found a highly-rated Paula Deen recipe, and I have to say this was the perfect zucchini bread. It was so good. It was dense and moist on the inside, and crunchy on the top.

I didn’t make any alterations to this recipe (besides leaving out the nuts) so I’ll send you straight to the source. It can be found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/zucchini-bread-recipe/index.html.

Also, I did have a little trouble getting the loaves out of the pans. The recipe just calls for cooking spray, but it may be wise to grease and flour the pans, and use parchment paper. Good luck!

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Late Summer Maxi Dress

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Hi everyone! I’m gradually going to begin posting about a few new subjects besides baking. One category of posts will be more focused on style, and below is the first example of this. I welcome any feedback you have about this or future posts.

For this series of style posts, I will be focusing on different friends and their personal styles. I’ve been friends with Grace for about four years now. We met because my good friend and roommate at the time is one of her best friends. I still remember the three of us hanging out for the first time, and after an involved conversation comparing the different seasons of Gilmore Girls and the pros and cons of Rory’s different boyfriends, I said “Grace, I think you and I have some things in common.”

Since then she has become one of my closest friends, and she is the first person I turn to when I have a fashion crisis or I need to shop for something specific. Below are three of her tips on how to wear maxi dresses. Thanks for reading!

Late Summer Maxi Dress

Tip #1: If you are new to maxi dresses, or uncomfortable with a bold print, then start with a solid in a neutral color. Black, tan, navy or even white will work for fall. Solid colors like these will work for any body type, and any height.

Tip #2: If you do want to wear a print but you are short/petite, or have a short torso, short legs, or unevenness in any way, look for prints that draw your eyes vertically rather than horizontally (such as the print in these photos).

Tip #3: As we move into fall, simply add a leather bomber jacket or a cardigan or sweater jacket. The structured sturdiness of the leather jacket and purse in these photos contrasts well with the flowy dress, and brings this outfit naturally into the autumn months.

Thanks again for reading! If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments below and we will get back to you!

Maxi dress purchased at Peridot Boutique in Seattle 2- 3 years ago
Leather Bomber Jacket purchased at Nordstrom last autumn
Purse is Marc by Marc Jacobs
Nails are Essie in the color Watermelon

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Strawberry Cake

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Where has the summer gone? I walked into Target the other day and was greeted by huge banners proclaiming “Back to School”.

No. Target you need to stop that…

Actually I think that late summer is a really beautiful time. It’s a season to savor the last bits of golden evening sunlight, all with the knowledge that autumn and the holidays are coming around the corner. And we can start wearing boots again…always a plus.

This cake is in honor of August and the fading summer. I’ve never had strawberry cake before but I can now say I’m a HUGE fan…this cake was absolutely delicious.

I did have a bit of a catastrophe the first time around, as the cake stuck stubbornly to the bottom of the pans. I think it might be because of the extra sugar in the gelatin. The second time around, I greased and floured the pans and also used parchment paper, and they plopped out no problem.

I really really hope you give this a try – you won’t be sorry! Have a great week and enjoy the final days of summertime!

Strawberry Cake

Serves 12

Slightly adapted from Southern Living

Ingredients
1 (18.25 oz) package white cake mix
1 (3 oz) package strawberry gelatin
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

For the frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 (32 oz) package powdered sugar
1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans. Use the bottom of a pan to trace a circle on parchment paper. Cut three circles, add to the pans, and grease and flour these as well.

Add all cake ingredients to the large bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low speed for one minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then mix for two more minutes on medium, scraping bowl when necessary. The strawberries should be well blended.

Pour batter evenly into the three pans. Bake for 23 minutes or until the cake tops spring back lightly when pressed. Cool cakes for ten minutes in pans on a wire rack and then remove from pans onto the wire rack to cool completely (about an hour).

For the frosting, beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy, about 20 seconds. Add in the powdered sugar and strawberries and beat on low until creamy. If frosting is too thin add more sugar, and if it’s too thick add more strawberries.

When cake layers are cool, level off the tops with a serrated knife if necessary. Frost the layers, then add a thin “crumb layer” of frosting over the whole cake. Add the rest of the frosting, then garnish with fresh strawberries if desired. Enjoy!

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Fruit Swirl Coffee Cake

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

 

Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a good week. Today’s recipe is one that my mom has been making for my whole life. I’m not sure where it came from originally. The copy we have is from my grandma Betty’s submission to the church cookbook many years ago.

This recipe has retained its popularity through the years because it’s both delicious and easy to make. The cherries are complimented by almond flavor, and the whole coffee cake is so moist and perfectly sweet.

The whole baking process is easy as well – it’s a simple matter of mixing up the dough and layering the ingredients.

It was afternoon when I was photographing this dessert and it was SO hard not to drink this coffee….I do love black coffee, especially along with dessert!

This recipe is perfect for potlucks, or guests, or a weekend breakfast. I hope you can give it a try!

Fruit Swirl Coffee Cake

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
4 eggs
3 cups flour
1 can cherry pie filling (21 oz)

For the glaze:
1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
About 2 tablespoons milk

Directions
Generously grease jelly roll pan (15 1/2 x 10 x 1) or two square pans (9 x 9 x 2). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Blend sugar, butter, shortening, baking powder, vanilla, almond extract and eggs in large mixer bowl on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat three minutes on high speed. Stir in flour.

Spread 2/3 of the batter in jelly roll pan or 1/3 in each square pan. Spread pie filling over batter. Drop remaining batter by tablespoonfuls onto pie filling. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Stir together the confectioner’s sugar and milk. Spread glaze over cake while it is warm and fresh from the oven. Enjoy!

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Jessie's Kitchen Chronicles